CIAA board over-stepped role

| 04/04/2013

owen roberts (220x300).jpg(CNS): Updated – The Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA) Board went way beyond its stipulated role as an oversight body and interfered directly in the management of the facility, according to observations made by a government watchdog. Comments in the management letter last year which accompanied the CIAA financial accounts for the year ending 2011 reveal that the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) had raised concerns, not only about the board’s interference with the management, promotion and recruitment of staff, but a requirement imposed by the board on management that it must approve all of the businesses given work at the airport, which was described by the public auditors as a conflict of interest.

Last month former CEO Jeremy Jackson was sacked by the board following the exposure of a report undertaken by the members which documented a list of mismanagement and misuse of public money at the airport, from boozy lunches paid for on a government credit card to the failure to properly investigate the theft of tens of thousands of dollars of public money.

However, it appears that it was not only the civil servants who were failing to comply with the rules at the authority as the audit letter appears to raise significant questions about the board’s behaviour and its direct involvement in the day to day management of the airport.

In the management report, which was released to CNS following an FOI request, the OAG points to the separation of responsibilities between the board and management to ensure a good corporate governance framework.

“From our review of its minutes and our audit of operations, we found that the Board has engaged in an operational capacity beyond its role as an oversight body,” the report states. “The operations of the board create a conflict of interest that results in a significant breakdown of the organisation's management control framework. This has created a significant risk that decisions and transactions of the organisation could be conflicted or corrupt,” the auditors write.

From directors of the board sitting on procurement committees to the board’s approval for the promotion of staff or an increase in salaries, the auditors present a significant list of inappropriate interference by the board members.

The management letter also lists a number of other concerns of the auditors, including the failure of the airport management to properly tender all its contracts over $50,000, as well as the failure to have contracts signed. The auditors picked up on several discrepancies but also placed the board on notice that its decision to sign an exclusive talks deal with a Canadian company to redevelop the airport was unlawful and did not meet the requirements of the Public Management and Finance Law.

Following the catalogue of issues listed in this report and the document, which was leaked to the North Side MLA Ezzard Miller last month, that pointed to the possibility of a theft at the authority and abuse of office, the police had said no formal compliant had been made to them up to 20 March.

However the Anti-Corruption Commission said Thursday morning that a complaint had now been received.

"We can confirm that an allegation of corrupt behaviour as you describe has been received by the Anti- Corruption Commission. As with any allegation made to the Anti-Corruption Commission referencing corrupt behavior, the complaint is firstly registered, the details are then reviewed to determine the validity or otherwise of the accusations made and the existence of evidence as part of that process,” an ACC spokesperson stated.

See management letter below.

Related articles:

Airport board sacks Jackson (CNS, 1 March 2013)

Canadiansto build airport (CNS, 4 August 2011)

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Category: FOI

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Statutory authorities with their political appointments is a major problem that needs to addresseed in this election. Now that the FFR has declared that all authorities must be acknowledged  and considered on the CIG balance sheet  it is time for the new government of tomorrow to address the top management of these entities which have predominantly been shared out to the political supporters of the sitting administration. Wrong wrong wrong! The problems we are now experienceing with The Director and CEO's of these bodies need to be assessed for permanent restructuring. NRA, CIAAA, ERA  and last but not least the TAB;  which has the teflon board of deadbeats who do nothing more than suck off the countries coffers instead of building on the government subsidy and finding ways to sustain themselves while contributing to the public purse. 

  2. Point Interest says:

    The point some are missing here is the theft and misuse of CIAA funds exactly what should the board do, let it continue after making numerous complaints to the ministry who do absolutely nothing about it and claim they never recieved any complaints XXXX and the Auditor General is worried about conflicts of interest oh well only Cayman. I was wondering if the CIAA could pay my bar bill which is under 10,000 CI and pay for my PR too i do not fly so i don't need  private lessons but i need to cover off some CUC and school fees. Someone running a little distraction Game Cayman becareful ! Conflict of interest yes but that goes right to top of  our little Government and beyond..

    • Anonymous says:

      Authority Boards report to Cabinet (a particular Minister from Cabinet), not a Ministry or Chief Officer, although they can consult with the Chief Officer, but the Chief Officer cannot give direction, only Cabinet can do this. Chewbaca should know this.


      Therefore, to answer your question: What should the Board do? The Board should report a suspected crime to the RCIPS. Once they did that they would have been off the hook from any potential cover up or perpetrating of the crime.


      Waiting on advice from the Ministry would suggest to me that the Board members may have something to hide.

      • Pointer says:

        Yes someone should explain this clearly to the chief officer  who clearly has over stepped his role in this matter several times! Oh well dat how tings run round ya mi guess?

    • Anonymous says:

      Still, ther whole story has not been revealed this should give some insight as to the allegations aganst Mr. Jackson.


      Had there been a problem dont you think this would have been highlighted if this report was from 2011??  Ppl need to THINK!


      I for one cannot wait until Mr. Jackson makes a statement, atleast  I hope he does. We will then have full disclosure to then be able to judge and point fingers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Three cheers for FOI, the auditor general, and the whistle blowers.


    There might yet be hope for Cayman's governance.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The "concerns of the auditors" sound very similar to those auditors at NHDT:


    failure to tender contracts over $50,000


    conflicts of interest on Board


    unlawful acts of Board members


    Somebody needs to look at them too.

    • Anonymous says:

      We need close inspection of many of these Authorities -XXXX. Their employees keep begging for someone to look into shenaigans but nothing hppens. Even when they get very negative audit reports, nothing happens. Can't hold a Caymanian accountable. Especially this year.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great news that this has finally been referred to the ACC. What would be even better is if the ACC actually takes some immediate action instead of shuffling paper for the next 2-5 years while refusing to talk about the investigation.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh please this is just a government department trying to cover their tracks cause the board highlighted stuff they should have found. What a joke!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Who is going to step up and make this damn report?! What the hell are you all waiting on?! Seems like EVERYBODY had their hands & toes in the cookie jar!


    CNS: A complaint has now been made to the ACC, as noted in the article, which was updated following confirmation received by CNS this morning.

    • Anonymous says:

      uh oh….banga langa langa!

    • Anonymous says:

      All current and future politicians as well as current and wannabe board members need to realize that times have changed and thanks to the press and social media, a whole lot of dirty stuff is and will continue to be disclosed to the general public!

      I just pray that some proper examples will be set in the very new future where the respective people involved in all this dirt get a well deserved conviction with an appropriate monetary punishment of even jail time.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Does the RCIPS anti-coruption unit really require a complaint to be made? I would have thought by now RCIPS had enough material to launch an investigation without waiting for any individual member of the public to come forward. At this stage there's nothing to stop Commissioner Baines, the Governor or even the Deputy Governor simply requesting an inquiry into the press reports. There's more than a bit of buck passing going here isn't there?

    • Anonymous says:

      Example, fire the Chairman! What are we doing Cayman? remember in May let they hear and listen to your say via a VOTE..

  9. Anonymous says:

    And we are suprised by this? Not me. Look at the people who sit on this board, the business they own, and what business operate inside the airport. Look at the security company, the baggage handlers who owns those companies?

    Conflict of interest means nothing in Cayman, nor to dirty slippery politicians who put these people on these boards.

    I say put Civil Servants on thos boards, if they don't perform or get caught doing this type of shit they can be fired!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Civil servants??? Surely you jest…nothing would ever get done. Do you see how slow they work?? And as for getting fired…you let me know of one civil servant that has ever been fired. That’s a cozy and comfy job for life–just stay low, do nothing unless its done by committee and your job is good for life!!

      • Anonymous says:

        I'm not disputing some of your points but I know of 5 Caymanian civil servantswho have been fired in the last 4 years by -get this – their Caymanian bosses. So you are wrong on that. I won't name them because that would not be fair.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why arent these jobs tendered on? did the government signed a life time contract with these companies? they should be tendered every 4 years, that would allow them to make all the profit in the world.

      This does not bode well with our FFR. and procurment standard, or maybe the FFR was only designed for the UDP.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Oh knock me down with a feather!! I am so surprised…

    CIG and the CS and these quangos are all rotten to the core and unless the incoming government sorts it out PDQ Cayman will be Floundering on the fact it already is…the sinking comes next..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Conflicts of interest is an offense under the Anti Corruption Law. This matter should have been referred to the Anti Corruption Commission for investigation.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Typical UDP.